New Zealand to broadcast Muslim call for prayer on national TV, radio on Friday

Published: March 20, 2019
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference at the Justice Precinct in Christchurch on March 16, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference at the Justice Precinct in Christchurch on March 16, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday announced that the Muslim call for prayer – the Azaan – would be broadcast on national television and radio as a soon of solidarity with the country’s Muslim community after the Christchurch carnage, said Radio Pakistan.

Ardern also announced that New Zealand would hold two minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the dead on the day and women in the country were being encouraged to wear headscarves to show their support for the Muslim community.

Burials begin for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

New Zealand’s premier called for a global response to the dangers of social media after the twin-mosques massacre.

A white supremacist gunman streamed his 17 minutes of carnage during which he killed 50 Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers.

Facebook said the live stream from Christchurch was viewed fewer than 200 times but it had to remove a staggering 1.5 million videos as footage of the slaughter went viral.

Ardern said while her focus was on the people of New Zealand, there were issues world leaders needed “to confront collectively”.

“We cannot, for instance, just simply deal with some of the issues we face with our social media to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

“There is an argument there to be made for us to take a united front on a global issue.”

“This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence (and) material that incites violence. All of us need to present a united front.”

In the United States, a congressional panel said it was asking top executives from US tech firms to explain the proliferation online of the “horrific” video.

The House Committee on Homeland Security called it “critically important” to filter such violent images.

Social media companies have long argued that they are not responsible for what is put on their platforms but Ardern has countered that they cannot simply be “all profit, no responsibility”.

New Zealand gunman’s family ‘shattered’ by his deeds

A 44-year-old businessman was remanded in custody after a preliminary court appearance in Christchurch Wednesday on charges of distributing footage of one of the mosque shootings.

If found guilty, he faces up to 14 years in jail.

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